Whew, sorry for the long delay…the months of sitting at my home desk have taken their toll on my arms, and I’ve had to significantly limit my computer use. This will be a shorter post as a result. I’m starting physical therapy soon…if you’re feeling particularly generous and you want to help support my recovery, my Venmo handle is @Joe-Cardello, for what it’s worth. 🙂
Anyway, let’s continue with the version of the training grounds tower that was seen throughout the middle of the Potter series, including Prisoner of Azkaban. As we work our way around to the west facade, my reference material becomes even scarcer, but I’ve got just enough to piece it together in a reasonably accurate way. I started with plain walls, deciding to add the windows and so forth later:
Here’s a view from overhead once I’d roughed in the main shape of the building. At this point, I wasn’t worried too much about cleaning up the intersections between walls and objects…I just wanted to make sure the layout made sense three-dimensionally:
You can see just a bit of the tiny courtyard in the middle. That’s one area for which I truly have zero reference (other than the basic floor plan). It roughly corresponds to the cobbled inner courtyard at Alnwick Castle, which was actually used in the location shoots for the first film, but the version in the miniature is much smaller and it has a different shape because of the way the Alnwick floor plan was reconfigured around it. So the layout of any doors, windows, or other decorative elements on that part of the miniature sadly remains a mystery.
As I said, I have less progress to share because of my ergonomic issues, not to mention the simple fact that this is a tricky structure to figure out. But I’ll at least fill out the rest of this post with an aerial overview of my POA castle so far:
Take care of your body, take care of your mind, and don’t be an ass to people who identify as transgender. See you soon!
52 thoughts on “COS-OOTP Training Grounds Tower, Cont’d”
Of course we shouldn’t be an ass to transgender people, but that seems odly specific to include. Is there any particular reason for that?
Also whish you a good recovery of your arms. 🙂
Have you not been following the jk Rowling transphobic thing?
Not really but, I get the relation to HP now thanks for telling me.
Prawnut Butter (awesome name) is correct, that’s what I was referring to. Thanks for the well wishes for my arms!
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks and good luck with your arm
Oooof, good luck with the physical therapy!
How on earth did you know that courtyard was even there? I always assumed it was just another layer of battlement on the scant few bits of pre-HBP blueprint I managed to dig up, since the handmade buyable miniature was always only tenuously accurate and the PS version just covered it over with thicker main tower.
Glad to see how it’s progressing! (Unlike Rowling 😦 )
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you! I admit I’m not 100% positive it’s a ground-level courtyard, but it’s definitely recessed below the adjacent flat roof as of GOF. I’ve tended to assume they made it a courtyard in SS to more closely match the filming location. (This is somewhat ambiguously supported by my lone SS floor plan.) I suppose the COS version could have changed that, but it just seems unnecessary. Plus there is an Alnwick shot in COS where you can glimpse the real-world courtyard, as the Ford Anglia escapes the first time.
In any case, it definitely remains a mysterious area of the miniature. Perhaps someday we’ll be lucky enough to figure it out for sure!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I would assume that the courtyard is at ‘ground level’ since the entrance path (the one goes kinda diagonal and through the gatehouse) seems to end in it (at least I think that is the case from that one blurry philosopher’s stone blueprint.
Yeah that’s my interpretation as well.
So glad to see you’re back! 🙂 The new sections are looking incredible as always – amazing seeing it from the air, the castle is so close to looking finished!
I’m quite sure you’ve already seen this, but it’s the one shot of this part of the miniature I was able to find. From part six of the mega-documentary, Creating the World of Harry Potter – Magical Effects:
(Incidentally, I absolutely thoroughly recommend this documentary if you haven’t seen it! Really in-depth, fascinating stuff on the Grand Staircase, the grounds and Hogwarts as a whole, plus tons of B-roll of the models I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s brilliant getting to see the breakdowns where they composite the full-scale moving stairs over the model, not to mention the look behind the scenes at the Time Turner sequence…)
But much as I’m looking forward to seeing Hogwarts inch further towards completion… take it easy, man, and really sorry to hear about your arms! Sending you very best wishes from across the pond, and hoping the therapy goes extra well,
I appreciate you reminding me of that documentary – I have seen it, but there are a few images I forgot to pull from it. (Not for the TG tower, but other parts for sure.)
Incidentally, someone else just pointed out that there are two great before-and-after matte painting shots of the castle from the first film here: https://metintan.artstation.com/
Ahahahaa, excellent – I love before-and-after shots, thanks so much for sharing! (Lovely high-res shots, there, as well – cheers, Metin Gungor.)
Also, I can’t be the only one whose mind was moderately blown by how convincing that forced-perspective Gringotts is… especially in conjunction with the matte extension, that side wall looks absolutely seamless.
I on the other hand had not seen this shot before – and as I’ve said previously I’ve been working on a consolidated map to reconcile as many different features of the castle as posisble, so thanks for the info and the shot!
I also have a dream version in my had that includes as much as possible. I’m definitely gonna Photoshop bits together for my own satisfaction once this project is complete. Been loving it so far, especially the swipe-able pics.
Pretty fantastic, right?
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi! I love yout blog! As a fellow crazy person obsessed about Hogwarts, I was wondering – what do you think about the new design shown in the Hogwarts Legacy reveal trailer?
Thank you! Generally speaking, my feeling about variations on the castle’s design is “the more the merrier.” But if I had to rank it relative to the films…I’d say I like it better than DH, at least. The other film versions might still win out. But I do like what they’ve done with it. How about you?
I agree! Great to see new variations on the offical design. I like the new look, so glad they decided to base it off the HBP castle and only borrowed a few bits from the DH version. I can see they decided to change a lot of the proportions of the castle, no doubt to make the exterior actually match human scale in gameplay.
Impresive Joe!, Thanks a lot for sharing your work and effort.
I have made peace with the fact that the exterior of Hogwarts doesn’t match the interior, my only explanation is that the interior works in some cases like the magic tents that expand the interior space (especially in the Grand Staircase Tower). I think that the castle of the movies is a lot smaller than the castle described in the books.
I have to requests for you, it would be great if you could help me:
It had always intrigued me where are the possible locations of some spaces like the Library, Myrtle’s bathroom, Ravenclaw Tower and Room of Requirement; it would be great if you could point out in an aerial view where do you think they are located.
Another question for which I don’t know if you have an answer to is if the only way to access the Clock Tower is through the Hospital Wing or if there is another access on the lower levels of the Quad building.
My pleasure – thanks for reading! Yeah, it’s best to just accept that the interior and exterior will never fully match. That being said, there are some clues for some of the locations you mentioned.
I do think there’s only one logical place for the library, and that’s in the area you see in the first three renders in this post: https://hogwarts4d.home.blog/2020/07/25/the-long-gallery-starting-the-bell-towers/ It’s the only spot with windows of roughly the right nature. (Of course, in real life, it was the Bodleian Library at Oxford.)
Ravenclaw Tower has no canonical film location, but some fans like to take the book’s description of it being one of the tallest towers as gospel for the films as well, and they interpret the Durham Cathedral central tower as thus being Ravenclaw Tower. That would place the aforementioned library right at the base of Ravenclaw Tower.
Myrtle’s bathroom actually has a very definite location…sort of. In real life, it’s at the northeast corner of the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral, while Gryffindor Tower’s entrance was shot at the southeast corner, so that would seem to place her bathroom somewhere around this tower: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/harrypotter/images/3/3a/North_tower.png (Fans have sometimes referred to it as North Tower, a name I reject because it’s one of the castle’s southernmost towers, haha.)
The Room of Requirement sadly offers no real clues to its location in the films, as far as I can recall. Sorry to disappoint!
As for the clock tower, you are correct – the only access is through the hospital wing. I believe the video games place a magical shortcut to the marble staircase through a portrait inside, but there’s no evidence for that in the films.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the answer Joe!
Yeah it makes sense that the Ravenclaw Tower and the Library would be close to each other.
What bothers me about the Clock Tower only access is that it makes the hole building practically useless.
On a different note, I found in a deleted scene from Chamber of Secrets that I believe takes place outside the Chamber of Reception, but the steps and “L” shaped building doesn’t match the miniature:
(Minute 11:40 – 12:59)
I don’t know if you saw this scene? Where would you place this location?
I agree on the library – tho some of the games put it geographically in the TGT. The Gallery just fits better IMO.
Ravenclaw Tower is usually assigned by fans to either the central Durham one yeah, or the second most often one I’ve seen is the tower in the corner of the Quad that has the stone bridge onto the front of the Gallery. From exterior shots, it looks like Hogwarts Legacy has actually gone with the latter since they’ve enlarged and tweaked it a lot – probably to favour a rounder Ravenclaw Tower over a square one. The general assumption of the Durham central tower used to be the Astronomy tower back before film 6 added its own special one.
The bathroom is weird since your analysis holds up, but at the same time it was always weirdly unclear if those were supposed to be the same areas of the castle. Not helped by the OOTP game placing it in one of the small towers at the back of the Gallery’s front section.
As for the North Tower itself, that’s actually a holdover from the books – Trelawney’s classroom is consistently at the top of North Tower, and since her classroom is frequently establishing shot’d as being in that specific tower on the model… basically it retroactively implies Hogwarts’s north-south in the film blueprints is the wrong way up. But, then again, the film never really establishes a direction in and of itself, only the production blueprints. Magic be mad sometimes!
Room of Requirement corridor’s shape made me assume the room was essentially occupying the space above the Quad courtyard, only interactable through the door, with the corridor following the normal square of the Quad itself. But, given its nature, the RoR could easily be bigger – or anywhere with 7 stories.
Jeronimo, that deleted scene location unfortunately doesn’t match any of the exteriors. It was shot outside the “real” chamber of reception, AKA the hall staircase at Christ Church at Oxford. Going off the miniature, that area should be right in front of the marble staircase tower. (I share your annoyance about the clock tower, BTW – beautiful building, but extremely impractical!)
The Englanderish, Divination is definitely set in “North Tower” in the book version of the castle, but I’ve never been fond of extrapolating from the book to the film or vice versa. As I’m sure you’re aware, close reading of the books reveals that it is a totally different castle from the films. You mentioned establishing shots that place Divination in that quad corner tower, though – which shots are you referring to? I don’t recall there ever being such a shot in any of the films. (I’ll also point out that that tower has Hufflepuff crests all around it, which leads me to believe the modelmakers were imagining it as a possible location for the Hufflepuff common room before the books established it as being down by the kitchens, and then they simply never bothered removing the crests since they were never recognizable in the films anyhow.)
LikeLiked by 1 person
For some reason it won’t let me reply to your actual second post in this branch, Jeronimo, so this’ll have to do.
That deleted scene Entrance Hall exterior has given me no end of grief in my map project. See, in most scenes that opening is usually mocked up to come from a corridor with setwork or post-production when doing scenes inside the staircase. As a consequence, where that exterior location should logically be… is slap bang in the middle of the link building between the grand staircase tower and the film1-3 entrance hall. There is an exterior walkway, around the back of the great hall… that’s a whole floor up, There’s also one on the right level, but the geometry’s all wrong what with the curving wall of the tower, and goodness knows how the steps are going to fit in logically.
It could in theory be supposed to be somewhere else in the castle entirely, but I’ve never really found a viable place – if they’d kept the scene in, they might’ve ammended the model for flyovers, but they didn’t so…
This might not be a terribly compelling answer, but in effect, ‘nowhere’, yet ‘somewhere’.
As a fun fact, the irl location’s stone railing is about ankle high – they built it up higher with presumably setwork for purposes.
Yeah the blog seems to have a limit on how far ‘deep’ it’s possible to reply sadly.
It seems you’re correct Joe – the establishing shot I was thinking of I had mixed up in my memory (one in the third film: https://www.homeofthenutty.com/harrypotter/screencaps/albums/HP3_1/HPPoA0823.jpg for one in the fourth: https://www.homeofthenutty.com/harrypotter/screencaps/albums/HP4_1/HP4GoF1379.jpg the latter being the one I remembered it being, the former being the actual one that establishes Divination). It certainly at least implies Divination is on that side of the castle, but it could easily be in the grand staircase tower instead.
More interesting is your mention of Hufflepuff crests – you couldn’t give us a close-up of those crests from your model could you please? I’ve never seen those before and trawling back through your existing images didn’t give the best view of them so far as I could find, so that’d be neat to see.
Trawling back through the posts has also reminded me just how far this project has come! It’s been great to see unfold and develop!
Yeah, unfortunately there is indeed a limit – it annoys me to no end but I don’t think there’s a way for me to fix it.
As for the Hufflepuff crests, I’ll do you one better – here are the two clearest photos of the miniature I’ve found, showing two different sides of that tower:
(I do have mine in the model, but it’s not super detailed.)
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hey Joe, great work as always. This is entirely off topic, but one thing that irks me about the movie version of Hogwarts is the front entrance of the castle, mostly because in practice it doesn’t make much sense to me. It seems odd that the main entrance, as well as the Entrance Hall, Great Hall and Grand Staircase Tower would be located near the viaduct courtyard (or Chamber of Reception if we are talking about movies 1-3) instead of in the location of the clock tower. As far as I can tell, the only way to reach the castle is the Covered Bridge (not including the boathouse steps, because those only apply to first years), and it seems odd that students would have to make a trek to the other side of the castle just to get to the main entrance. In the Deathly Hallows Part 2 this is fixed by moving the viaduct so that it connects to the grounds, but honestly it looks a bit funny to me that way. I guess I’m just looking for your opinion on how you think older students would get to the main entrance, because to me it looks like the Covered Bridge is the only way. Furthermore, how the hell did they get there before the Covered Bridge was introduced in POA?! I know I’m overthinking this, but I just wanted to discuss this with someone who knows the castle very well, because as a nerd of Harry Potter I find it fun to theorize about. I suppose the filmmakers didn’t see the point in adding a streamlined way to get to the viaduct courtyard until they absolutely needed it for the Battle of Hogwarts.
It’s a puzzling question, isn’t it? The version of the castle in the books has a much more sensible entrance, of course – a broad, sweeping drive that ascends past the gates along the lawns up to the front steps of the castle, which lead into the entrance hall. But yeah, in the films, the task of getting there is pretty impractical. It’s no wonder we never see the older students’ paths to the Great Hall at the start of term…I’m assuming the carriages would arrive somewhere on the north side, perhaps over by the greenhouses or training grounds, and the students would have to pass through the whole Durham wing and trek across the (original) viaduct. Doesn’t work nearly as well as the walk up to the literary castle’s big front doors and directly through the entrance hall into the Great Hall! The first years are in trouble in the films, too…that’s an 18-story outdoor climb, probably with wet shoes!
I agree that the swiveling of the viaduct in DH makes rather more sense, and I also agree that it doesn’t look as good that way. POA feels like Cuaron was really trying to treat his wooden bridge, clock tower, and courtyard as the entrance to the castle, but that of course brings its own set of problems because the only route from the clock tower entrance to the rest of the castle involves a narrow stairway up toward the hospital wing…
Anyway, bottom line, I share your amused frustration with these considerations. I feel like they’re par for the course when it comes to production design, though. Films are made to look good, not make sense. 😉
As an addendum, I personally think the main entrance to the school was originally intended to be the Alnwick elements. Particularly, the inner courtyard in the TGT is perfect for cycling carriages through with the teardrop driveway and porch, and the area in general matches the book description closer (if certainly not perfectly). What I suspect happened was they wanted to give the Great Hall more silhouette, and also more water-accessibility, so they built it as a separate structure on the end of the Quad. It’s a longer walk from the entrance driveway, but it does funnily enough make it a better castle, and very hard to invade. Might’ve also provided a nice atmosphere for returning students as well, passing through the majority of the school at the start of the year. The Clock Tower entrance feels much more like a footpath, shorter to Hogsmeade, but not exactly road-appropriate, with the main driveway going up to the Alnwick gatehouse instead and presumably meandering around the majority of grounds and forest.
Where things get thorny is in the changes to the castle in later films – the big ‘ol mountain obliterating half of the Alnwick walls/lawn, the removal of the TGT entirely, the removal of the remaining walls/gatehouse, and the ripping away of the Viaduct and its courtyard to make a new entrance. The latter especially is just kinda an ugly change, and as I alluded to above, makes the castle ironically less defensible in the very film it is actually being attacked in. It’s a bit of a shame since it would’ve been cool to have the foot invasion come through the Alnwick exterior – it’s a major location that’s been around since the very first film after all. But sadly, they presumably either didn’t want to (or could not for whatever reason) use Alnwick.
On the brighter side, access for the first years gets easier as the films go on, thanks to the 4th film adding the runway for the Beauxbatons carriage and the path sloping up around the back of the great Hall to the Quad courtyard. Much more child-friendly!
Appreciate the input, guys. I failed to consider the Training Grounds/Alnwick/Greenhouse area as a possible entrance (I’m not that well versed with that side of the castle, since it’s rarely utilized or shown in the films in any great detail), but now that I think about it that probably makes the most sense. Especially considering it offers a more direct path to the original viaduct than Cuaron’s bridge does, and is more accurate to the description from the books. I agree that it would have been awesome to see this spot utilized in the final film, since it’s always been there, but never used to its full potential. I’m curious as to how the developers of Hogwarts Legacy are going to handle this problem, since they seem to be modeling the castle after the movie version for the most part. It looks like they are doing away with the repositioned viaduct, which I’m a fan of, but that also resurfaces the issue of how they will address the entrance. At the beginning of the trailer we see someone fly a carriage directly over the lake and into the viaduct courtyard, but I hope this isn’t how the students get there. I suppose it’s a possible solution though, that the carriages are simply enchanted to fly the students across the lake. It wouldn’t be very faithful to the books, that’s for sure. Maybe the game will offer us some further insight into this.
I’m too lazy to check who said it, but someone said the wooden bridge provides easier access to hogsmeade. This is something I don’t understand. I know in the books Hogsmeade is located north of Hogwarts, but in the only shot in the movies (to my knowledge) in which we can see both Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, in would seem like it is located kind of south east accross the lake. (DH part 2)
This makes sense to me, since in this case Hogsmeade would be a lot closer to Hogsmeade station than if it were located north of the castle.
I also find it quite amusing how insanely long this thread has gotten.
In POA, all the kids heading to Hogsmeade take the wooden bridge, but they must have thought the castle would read better from a different angle for that DH shot.
I have been using google translator to read the entire debate, as I am not fluent in English. So you guys could do it for me XD.
Me parece interesante todo lo que han venido planteando a lo largo de este post. y quisiera compartir mi opinion sobre algunos puntos especificos.
1. La ubicaciones de la mayoria de locaciones para mi nunca deberian ir de la mano con el libro ya que es “imposible” pero me gustan los puntos de vista que muchos de ustedes exponen y que hacen de alguna manera “encontrar un punto medio” entre ambas versiones, sin embargo aunque yo no sea un amante de los videojuegos de harry potter, los considero canonicos en lo que respecta a las locaciones porque la mayoria ofrecen lugares muy parecidos.
Por ejemplo: la oficina de Dumbledore (aquella por donde se accede justo donde está la estatua del aguila) en las primeras peliculas es ubicada en una esquina del patio de transformaciones, pero en los juegos (desconozco si en las pelis esto se hizo despues) la muestran en el patio enfrente del gran comedor, lo que me parece coherente ya que los arcos son casi los mismos que los de durham.
Algunas veces se vuelven fisicamente imposibles, como el corredor externo al baño de mythle, donde tenermos ventanas del lado incorrecto, pero siendo esto un castillo magico no dudo que lo primero que nos coseguieramos fueran ventanas falsas (como las de Mr weasley en su gabinete del ministerio) puertas que no llevan a nada, escaleras que cambian de lugar, pasadizos (como una entrada al gran comedor desde la torre del reloj) es lo mas probable.
2. los cineastas a veces se van por lo facil, coger una imagen que resulte familiar al publico en vez de una rebuscada que los confunda. Error, la pelicula mas rica en tomas del castillo es el caliz de fuego, donde tenemos ubicaciones en lugares totalmente opuestos y nadie se sintio confundido. me parece una desicion estupida andar cambiando la ubicacion de hogsmeade por capricho (ya que de artistico no tiene nada)
I agree with what you’re saying, José. Ultimately, my main interest is in the visual effects miniatures, so I find discussion about the interiors to be interesting but not especially relevant to the outcome of this project. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I read in these comments that there was a debate as to where the Divination classroom was. Here is a card model of the classroom at warner brothers:
I’m going to assume that this was modelled off of somewhere in the quad – maybe the bridge tower before it was changed in DH.
As for the library, I always imagined that it was where its Durham counterpart is – to the west of the courtyard. But that’s my own interpretation.
I also read that there were a few comments about the strange design of the castle in general. My personal little headcanon that I like to believe is that the castle was built in two or more stages. First, there was the original half of the building – the northern half. The part most inspired by Durham. Then, for whatever reason, the northern half was annexed by the school or expanded upon, then resulting in the construction of the southern half of the building just over the valley (which the suspension bridge now crosses) on the cliffs near the lake. This part of the castle includes the great hall, the quad and its towers… etc. Or perhaps it was done the other way around… the quad being the original keep and the Durham inspired bits of the model being an expansion north. It would certainly explain all the bridges – and the mix of architectural styles. But that’s just a theory.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great Work just found ur website and kinda impressive what u did.
Dont know if u already have it, but i have the Full Hogwarts Blueprints from Half Blood Prince, from the Book “Harry Potter Film Wizardry: Updated Edition: From the Creative Team Behind the Celebrated”, if u want i could sent u a picture.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I appreciate the offer, but that’s already one of my biggest resources for this project! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
If it’s a full continuous page I’d appreciate the HBP blueprints since the only copy I’ve been able to find is a two-page spread that’s consequently a bit distorted; or otherwise in two separate bits, or worse a pic taken from an angle of the original on a wall in one of the HP exhibits. But otherwise yeah they’re not too hard to get ahold of in general, as is the case for the DHp1&2 blueprints.
The real goldmine so far as blueprints go would be any of the film2-5 ones (film1 I have a copy of what seems to be a lighting map of the blueprints), as far as I’ve been able to discern – I’ve only ever found a fragment of what looks like a transition bluprint between films 3 and 4 (has the viaduct courtyard but not the path leading up form the runway) of the others.
Do you think you could share that 3-4 blueprint? It’d be interested to see what it looks like.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I can indeed, tho I was not kidding when I said it was a fragment: https://imgur.com/gallery/pXkq32H
Was first sent it in part of a big resource dump from DeviantArt user Snipperdepipper, who’s been working on their own Hogwarts blueprint design: https://www.deviantart.com/snipperdepipper
I could ask them where they got it, but from memeory I think the resource folder was assembled over literal years so they may not have a solid answer.
It’s definitely Stuart Craig and co.’s style and writing though, and is so similar to the more available blueprints that I’m certain this is genuine material.
And as an extra note, on looking more closely at the Viaduct courtyard in this fragment, it looks very unfinished, with more than a few ghost elements from the old setup with the Bodley Tower Entrance Hall, so that furthers my belief that this is a transition blueprint midway between POA and GOF.
Okay The Englanderish, here it is. https://i.imgur.com/aOZC0dc.jpg
LikeLiked by 1 person
Though the blueprint is only partial, it still shows some things that I haven’t seen on other blueprints; the inside of the quad is visible which makes me very happy, my suspicions on the shape of the HP3-HP5 training grounds path are confirmed and there appears to be some funkyness near the dark tower. So I’m glad you shared it.
btw. I’m not sure if you already have this one from HPB because there are so many photos of it, but this one is taken at quite a good angle and only has one seam in it. It’s from someone on reddit;
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks to both of you! I do have the reddit one, it’s been my best approximation on some details for a while now – the seam is where I typically run into trouble, but I generally defer to the film1 blueprints for those parts anyways.
The much higher-res one Unluckyart sent is extremely handy though, as it lets me touch up a lot of details that blur on the reddit copy thanks to scale limitations.
The inside of the Quad is actually briefly visible in a couple of the film shots, but most of the time it’s just empty but for paved floor. The major exception is a pan over in COS that more or less matches the design from the fragment POA-GOF transition blueprint: https://imgur.com/gallery/v5XENFT
Particularly unusual is the fact that the cloister is two stories high so the big Quad arch doesn’t have to cut through it.
Hey Englanderish, what leads you to believe the cloister is two stories tall? I’ve done some photogrammetry on that shot and it seems like the whole quad is way lower/deeper than it should be; my suspicion is that there’s some not-so-precise compositing going on. But if I remember correctly, the cloister still came out having a normal height.
Got out my old COS DVD for this to get a slightly better quality screenshot. Sadly I lack anything like bluray, but if you have a higher definition copy at home you can probably scrutinise it pretty well:
Marked in red to make it easier. See how the cloister seems to have two distinct layers to it, where the whole thing just changes? And they’re both roughly the same sort of height? That looks like it should be a double floor to me, with the lower section looking like cloister proper, and the higher section either being a very high ceiling, or a second floor (first floor in the UK) protruding above the cloister.
This is made weirder by the fact that the courtyard does seem to be deeper in this shot than on the walkway outside as you noted – it almost looks like the archway leads out onto the roof of the cloister, which makes no sense since it’s ordinary roofing and clearly not designed to be walked on. This would also imply that the COS courtyard goes down to the second dungeon level, which is bizarrchitecture to say the least, though hardly impossible. I suspect the whole courtyard-cloister itself is either a painting overlaid (digitally or literally laid onto it) on the existing floor of the model, or an aerial shot of an existing location that never made it into the film (doesn’t fit New College, Durham, Alnwick, Lacock, Christ Church College, or any other shooting location I can think of though. It’s possible they rebuilt the whole interior model of the Quad just for that one shot, but since we never glimpse the cloister or a drop from a roof through the arch, I find the former option more likely. That said, a two-story cloister would allow for the big archway to not be disturbed, so it’s very much up to you how you rationalise it for your model.
In short, a bit of a headscratcher.
If my counting is right, it is very likely that the quad from HP1-HP3 is ‘deeper’ than the quad from HP4-HP7. I have counted the bricks to the best of my ability and the wall seems to be a lot lower than the overhead shot from HP2. The roofs of the cloisters appear to be at about the height were the paving is in the later design, of which we know that it is at the same level as the ‘arch thru’ and the smaller arch in the southern wall. This leads me to conclude that somehow the cloisters are about one story lower than the ground floor (186′-4″). A problem that arises with this conclusion however is that the ‘arch thru’ doesn’t end at the same elevation as the courtyard. Any thoughts on how this could work?
It’s baffling, isn’t it? “Headscratcher” is indeed the right word! So far I haven’t even touched the quad because of how bizarre the situation is.
I just thought of this, but if the courtyard is lower, maybe it’s at the same level as the lowered walkway that leads to the stairs downward to the north face of the quad and goes under the stone bridge (the bridge that connects the north east tower of the quad to the south west tower of the long gallery.
Certainly a possibility!
Maybe Craig stuart knows, or someone else on the production team. Not sure if his contact details are floating around anywhere, or if he still remembers/has access to the relevant material, but if he can, private correspondance might be the only way we get a real answer on this.
Stuart Craig, rather. I can do words I swear!